by PuckStopsHere on 08/23/12 at 08:54 PM ET
Since an NHL era has likely drawn to a close with the upcoming lockout, we can take the time to look back on the period since the last lockout. Yesterday I posted top goal scorers since the 2005 lockout. Today I am following that up with the top assist scorers of the period. These combined years of statistics are quite useful to determine which players have dominated the past several years, as opposed to those who had some success but failed to have sustained success.
Here are the top 20 assist scorers since the 2004/05 lockout:
|4||Martin St Louis|
This is clearly a list of players who dominated the last several years. Joe Thornton is the leader and Henrik Sedin is not too far behind him. They are well ahead of any other player in the league. Neither are candidates in most discussions for the best player of the period. This shows how the assist is generally overlooked s a statistic. People are far more likely to notice top goal scorers than top assist men.
The next group of players on the list is Sidney Crosby, Martin St Louis and Pavel Datsyuk. They are all within less than ten assists of one another and a sizeable margin above the next group of players. The remainder of the group is more closely bunched.
It is noticeable how this list is different from the top goal group. The two players on the list - Joe Thornton and Henrik Sedin are not among the top 20 goal scorers in the same period. Ilya Kovalchuk, who is second in goals in the period, is not among the top 20 assist men.
Of the players who come lower in the list, Nicklas Lidstrom is remarkable because he is the only defenceman on the list. He places 11th. Evgeni Malkin (13th) and Marc Savard (19th) are remarkable because they both missed a season. In Malkin’s place it was the first one in the period and in Savard’s it was the last one. Savard has by far the fewest games played of anyone on this list. The games played leaders had nearly 200 more games than he did. With that extra playing time I am sure Savard would be ranked much higher. Sidney Crosby is also remarkable for his lack of games played. He has the third fewest on the list and ranks in third place overall He has the best assists per game on the list.
Eleven of these players make both the goals and assists list (Crosby, St Louis, D Sedin, Spezza, Ovechkin, Zetterberg, Malkin, Alfredsson, Iginla, Staal and Heatley). That is quite an accomplishment for all of them.
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